Saturday, March 26, 2011

More on election commission mess

I’m somewhere over Florida right now as I type this, on my way to see the big greed-head rodent in Orlando.

So, I got some time to kill.

Because if I don’t keep myself occupied, I’m going to throw a little snot-kid and his stoned-dad in front of me out of the plane.

Anyhoo, was thinking about today’s story (click right smack here for the bad boy), and what I’ve heard, since it came out. One rumor has it that - Rob McNutt - the Republican Legislative delegation’s pick to serve on the county Election Commission won’t accept the appointment.

I don’t buy it. The guy is passionate. He wants the job. And he’s got his party’s support. For the most part. He’s staying.

The other rumor is that the election office will turn over the information I reported (That McNutt voted out of his precinct seven times) to the District Attorney General’s Office.

Well yeah. What did you think would happen?

If Elections Administrator Greg Mackay and his right-hand man Scott “attached at the hip” Frith didn’t, then they would be breaking the law.

If it’s possible that someone violated state election laws, then the election folks will at least have some type of discussion with prosecutors. (Hey, Scott, just having a little fun at your expense.)

With that said, the issue won't go anywhere. Even if McNutt intentionally and maliciously voted in the wrong precinct, I’m sure there is some statute of limitations that’s expired by now. I’m guessing it would be a two-year limit. Some of his infractions were more than a decade ago.

Also, I know people are going to come down on Mackay if he does talk to Attorney General Randy Nichols. They’ll say he shouldn’t do it. OK, cool. Say he does nothing. Well, what happens if the next time someone screws up it’s a Democrat?

You think the local Republicans are going to give that person a pass? Hell no.

So, Mackay has to talk. He’ll at least hold a brief conversation with the AG’s office. Probably nothing more.

OK, some other thoughts, really in no particular order. Mostly, what I’m doing here is “cleaning out the notebook,” giving you some information that didn’t make it into the story because of space issues, or relevance, or whatever.

Enjoy. It’s free.

So, Steve Hall, the state representative and long-time friend of McNutt. The big rumor - and this has been going on for years now really - going around the county Deathstar is that Hall wants Mackay’s job. A few years ago when the Republicans were gunning for Mackay, he applied.

Apparently, it didn’t work out too well for him.

“I told (the Election Commission) that I thought Greg Mackay was going a fine job,” he said. “But there was an indication that there would be a change, and if there was going to be a change, then I would have liked to have had that position.”

Hall joked that he thinks his remarks made a lot of fellow Republicans mad.

“They told me that I sounded like I was doing a commercial for Greg,” he said laughing.

I asked if he was again interested in the job. The commission in the upccoming weeks will probably decide on Mackay's future - whether to keep him, fire him or take applications for his job. Or whatever it is they do. Maybe they’ll do nothing. (No, by the way, Mackay is not term-limited.)

Damn, I’m rambling here.

Hall said he was not interested and that he would not apply.

“Not in the near future,” he said. “Who knows 10 years from now.”

Anyway, a few more things to address. First, the quote by state Rep. Ryan Haynes, the local Legislative delegation’s big dog (‘cause he’s got the chairmanship spot).

Folks on the message boards have been sticking it to him for pretty much blaming “a little old lady for punching the wrong keypad” for the reason election folks should share some of the blame for McNutt voting in the wrong precinct.

The tone of his statement, however, was lost in the printed word. That happens. Unfortunately. But Ryan was somewhat chuckling when he said it. In retrospect, I could have paraphrased him, wrote something like: Haynes suggested elections officials should share some of the blame. Perhaps, he said, someone didn’t use the keypad correctly.


I'm not going to second guess muyself. I just don’t want people to think the guy stereotyped poll workers or doesn’t like little old ladies.

But, with that said, I don’t buy it. No one punched the wrong key in SEVEN different elections.

Second thing to address is how I got this story. I’m not telling. But don’t start thinking it was Mackay. (And it also wasn’t local attorney Dennis Francis – another rumor I heard going around today. He’s never given me a tip that panned out, so he’s been shut off. Kidding. About the shut off part. His tips, however, do suck. ) But, back to Mackay. It wouldn’t have been in his best interest to tip me off. Not now, anyway.

He’s smart enough to know the best damage gets released the day before the election - not now. And no, I’m not covering for anyone. I don’t care who the election administrator is. In fact, the administrator (new or old) could screw up multiple elections and I wouldn't care. So long as the person returns my calls.

Third thing to address: McNutt.

I enjoyed talking to him. I don’t take great pleasure - despite what many of you may think - in busting someone on 1-A. I like to know them for a while before I do that.


But seriously, he is a nice guy. He told me a few stories about how he’d take his children into the voting booths with him, when they were toddlers, and talk to them about the election process. (OK, no jokes here, please.)

He also seemed very passionate about community service, civic duty, whatever.

Again, I like the guy. (I doubt he likes me very much, but I digress.) And yes, the last thing on my mind - if my parents passed away three months apart and I was moving - would be to change my information with the election office. (Which is something he didn't do and is now subsequently in the limelight for.) However, it would be the first thing on my mind when I finally went down to the polls to vote. (Which also is something he did not do . . . .)

On a side note, I actually thought McNutt was living in the county and voting in city elections. Not that it makes much of a difference.

Last up is state Rep. Harry Tindell, a Democrat. I talked to him about for this story, but his comments didn’t make the paper. Not enough space. He wouldn’t touch it, though. Said that was all up to the Republicans. Smart guy.

I also called Republican state Senator Jamie Woodson for a comment on the story. Funny. I didn’t hear back from her.

On a final side note, I did mention county Mayor Tim Burchett in the story, but I was talking to him about McNutt's background. I never addressed the voting issues with the mayor.

Anyway, I’m out of town for a few. I imagine that I’ll still update, though.

In the meantime, I've got a mouse to catch tomorrow.

Update: I had some links connected to this post, mostly to bios, but Blogger is acting up today and I had to repost this without most of them.

No comments: